Business & Tech

BC senior sells his startup as he prepares to graduate

Stephen and Riley Soward
Campus Insights
Stephen and Riley Soward

It’s hard to forget the harried dash toward college graduation: Prepare for your final, final exams, start looking for a new place to live . . . sell your startup?

For Boston College senior Riley Soward, the end of the year includes a milestone that many company founders take years to achieve. He and his brother, Stephen, are cashing out of Campus Insights, the business they started in college to help clients get better feedback from students than the stuffy settings of traditional focus groups might offer.

Harvard Student Agencies, the business run by students at that well-known college across the river from BC, will take over Campus Insights, adding it to its stable of enterprises including the Let’s Go travel guide series.


Soward started the company with his brother, who went to the University of Michigan, to collect input from the coveted millennial demographic at campuses around the country.

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Riley Soward, a business major, declined to disclose the terms of the sale, but he said he will step down as chief executive as he finishes up school this spring. Now, like most other people who are completing their undergraduate degrees, he has to get a job.

But he said he’ll bring a lot of what he learned at Campus Insights to whatever he does next. The company said it worked with clients including the payment provider Venmo, and it was featured by Money in 2016 as one of a handful of startups that could be “the Next Facebook.”

“We tried as quickly as possible to go from a thought in our minds to actually talking with companies, building out a product, and scaling up on the sales side,” Soward said. “We really saw the importance of just taking the initiative and hustling.”

Andy Rosen can be reached at